Sixteen-year-old Keilah Evans is completely undateable. The crush she has on Gage Fitch? Forget it. He has no idea she exists. But Keilah has something other girls at school don’t: She can code. Keilah decides to solve her dating woes by anonymously creating a hook-up app.
Soon, her app is in demand at every high school in the state. But instead of hooking Keilah up with Gage, the app ships her best friend with him! To make matters worse, a glitch in the app exposes student data, and now, parents, school boards, and the public are demanding the creator of the app’s head on a platter. When a savvy hacker finds out Keilah is behind the app, he uses the info to blackmail her.
In order to save herself and her app, Keilah must make some hard decisions, including seeking help from the last person on Earth she should trust: Ryder Coleson.
Natalie Decker is the author of the bestselling YA series Rival Love, YA series Offsides, and NA series Scandalous Boys. She loves her family, her awesome dog, friends, carefree days, football, fuzzy blankets, traveling, reading, cooking, writing, and is a huge Denver Broncos fan. Her imagination is always going, which some find odd. But she believes in seeing the world in a different light at all times. An avid reader of everything. If she’s not at a Target or Starbucks because those are her favs, she might be typing away on her laptop, reading a book, hanging out with her amazing family, or she’s off having an adventure. Because Natalie believes in a saying: Your life is your own journey, so make it amazing!
Tips on writing YA
When starting out, I was lost, and I read a few things that stated go be a part of some writing groups. So, I did this not really expecting a reality check. In fact, many of times I wanted to go online and express my utmost opinions on total strangers who were just flat out mean. For a while, I thought who in their right minds would send a person to these places knowing how rude and just awful these people were? I learned though this is where you go to prepare for your demons. Those demons to face, rejection letters, bad reviews, and massive editorial changes out of the gate. The kind you get back and see nothing but red marks and crossed out sections. The whole time you just want to curl up in a ball and cry. These are okay though because feeling these things means you care about your project and this is tip number one for writing YA. You must care about these characters, their actions. Yes, you may get backlash because it’s not precisely how anyone else would do it, but that’s the beauty about characters. Like all of us humans we are unique and not the same. Yes, you can have identical twins and triplets but that’s not what I mean. Their personalities are all different. Tip number two, make them unique. Be real with them but don’t patronize them. No one likes being told hard facts to their face, so weave it in with a twist. This doesn’t mean talk to them as if they’re babies, or even if they are children. They’re adults just a younger more youthful adult, and they haven’t experienced a lot of life yet, but that doesn’t mean we have to live it for them. We need to be fun, caring and also very sensitive to all subjects hard and true. Breakups, Sexual Orientation, Consent, and Abuse. As a writer, if you’re not comfortable talking about it you shouldn’t write it. That is my last tip of the day. I hope everyone has a very special New Year and it’s brighter than the last. Thank you so much for having me here today.
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